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Would you like fries with that? 

Living in the bush, with little access to stores or other resources, forced us to be innovative in a number of ways. Most significantly, we had to plan ahead, try to anticipate everything, and stock up on supplies. And Stephanie has always been one to act on impulse, so planning a month or more ahead has been one of the bigger changes.

In particular, she is impulsive about what kind of foods she is in the mood for. Sometimes she wants to go out for dinner, but with no restaurants in the bush, this has not been an option. Her solution has been to think about what food she would order in a restaurant and then re-create that at home, given what’s in our pantry at the time.

The results have often been impressive. French fries, pizza with homemade, hand-tossed crust, beer battered halibut, etc. We’re not talking haut cuisine, but certainly comfort food on those forty below days in the middle of cruel January.

This experience has freed Stephanie from prepared foods. Buying in bulk has often meant buying staples like flower, sugar, etc. And when the occasion has called for a cake, and no cake mix was found, the only option was to go to the cookbook and see how that kind of thing is done. Again, the results have been impressive: cakes, pies, and cookies, even icings, all from scratch. 

At this point, Stephanie does it all from scratch, and even finds the process easier and the results better. First, when occasion calls for a cake or a cookie, odds are the ingredients are already in the panty, no need for a run to the grocery. Second, every whim and craving can be satisfied, again without a run to the grocery.

And that’s what I like about her ability to whip up anything from scratch: a pantry that looks devoid of sweets or anything interesting can suddenly produce brownies or chocolate chip cookies at ten o’clock at night. When Jamiee requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, it was no problem for Steph. Out come the flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Presto! Great, mounded cinnamon buns covered in finger licking icing. 

Tonight, because she knew the kids wouldn’t like the green curry (she made from scratch) that we were having, she decided the feed the kids their favorite: chicken strips. Maybe you’re thinking McNuggets or Tyson frozen. No. She thawed a chicken breast from the freezer, pounded it, sliced it, breaded it, fried it, salted it, and served it. And the kids loved it. I loved it. I was reaching across my plate of curry to filch bites from Jacob’s plate.  

Posted on Saturday, December 5, 2009 at 11:11PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments6 Comments

Reader Comments (6)

It is true. She is quite resourceful. When we were there, I had that craving for something sweet and she said she could make some brownies. Had it not been for the fact that she challenged herself to make them in less than 20 mins or so (can't remember the exact amount of time), they would have been much better than they were.
December 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMel
Using Facebook parlance: Like!
December 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDad
Impressive! Stephanie, what about lunches? I find myself in the fish-sticks, chicken nuggets, boxed macaroni and cheese rotation that is hard to get out of. We occassionally have grilled cheese or PB&J, but I wish I was more creative (less processed) with lunch.
December 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa
I'm Impressed : )
December 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterreigan
that is impressive. are you making your own homebrew too?
December 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwatson
Stephanie, you are fabYOUlous! (That's YOU, right in the middle of being FABULOUS!). I'm so proud of you! And Brian, thank you for bragging on Stephanie. It's my very very favorite thing to read about.

Much Love,
December 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMom (Lizabeth)

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